Jainism – The new order
- The wave of intellectual uprising among the people of the 6th century BC paved the way for the emergence of new order named Jainism. It is considered as one of the world’s oldest religions that has its followers even todate.
- The principles of Jainism are based on its teachers, whom they referred to as “Tirthankara’s”. The religion of Jainism had “24 Tirthankara’s”, Rishabanath being the first of all the Tirthankaras.
JAIN: The word “Jain” had been derived from the Sanskrit root word “Jina / Jaina” meaning the “Conqueror”. The religion Jainism is also considered as older than the later religion, Buddhism
- The Tirthankara’s hold a special place in Jain culture as their teachings enlightened the minds of the downtrodden people. The greatest among the Jain Tirthankara’s is Mahavira (24th and the last Tirthankara). Parshavanath being the 23rd Tirthankara.
Vardhaman Mahavira and Jainism:
- Mahavira is also known as Vardhaman Mahavira, was born in the year \(539 BC \)in a place called Kundagrama near Vaishali. Born in Gnatrika (A Kshatriya clan), he was brave and an able ruler of his kingdom. He was married to Yasoda and also had a daughter named Anojja or Priyadarshana.
- He renounced his family life at the age of \(30\) in quest of spiritual knowledge. Mahavira left his kingdom, and undertook intense meditation and adopted an ascetic life to attain spiritual greatness.
LION: According to the principles of Jainism, every Tirthankara or the Teacher has been associated with a symbol and Mahavira was associated with the symbol of Lion.
- After undertaking strenuous efforts to attain spiritual greatness for \(12 years\), Mahavira obtained “Kevaliya / Kevala” (The Knowledge of the highest order) at the age of 42 under the Sal tree.
- Post the attainment of Kevaliya, Mahavira came to be known as “the Jina” means the “conqueror of the self”. Later the followers of his method were called “Jains”.
- He was known to have changed the age-old Sramana traditions and established new order among Jains, which is still considered as the greatest teaching among the followers of Jainism.